I was interviewed by an amazing blogger in the USA. Thank you G.D Talbot. I loved doing this interview. If you have aspirations to become an author, you may want to check this out. It has been described as interesting and encouraging.
Q: What is your name and/or pen name?
A: Franca B Lawrence (Fiction books)
Franca Lawrence (Non-Fiction books)
Q: What genre do you write?
A: My first two books are Narrative non-fiction (The first one is an inspirational book while the second one is a motivational book)
My third book is a children’s book, a fictional novel for middle-grade age 8 - 12.
My fourth book is a creative non-fiction book.
I like to make people laugh. I think it comes across in all my books, no matter what genre I write. I write about things I am passionate about and they are quite serious topics, but my strategy for getting people to read my books is to make it funny and entertaining. That is who l am as a writer. l guess you can say that is MY THING.
Q: What made you want to be a writer?
A: My dad was a lecturer of English language and Literature. Books were a big deal in our home. I was an avid reader as a kid. I had a difficult childhood because I lost my beloved mother at the tender age of 9.
I was put in boarding school a few years later, and was often very sad and lonely. All I did was bury my head in books. BOOKS SAVED ME. It was my escape from the pain of losing my mum. An escape into a wonderful imaginary world.
My love for books never went away and after my first degree (B.A - English) I knew I wanted to be a writer. I was taught poetry, drama, and playwriting. We wrote plays and staged them. It was amazing and I loved it. My imaginative and creative mind expanded and I knew I would never be fulfilled if I do not write books.
Another reason I became a writer was that I learnt a lot from books, which has helped me through many challenges in my life. I decided to write books that could help others in one way or another. This explains the didacticism in most of my books.
Q: What do you use to keep yourself inspired while writing?
A: My passion and love for writing keeps me motivated. The desire to see my work in print usually keeps me going. I would gladly do it as a full time job if it paid my bills. I love writing and it gives me the utmost fulfilment. I am also a blogger so when I’m not writing books; l would be blogging about something.
Oddly, my inspiration seems to come from motion, either when I am driving or on public transport. Most of my book ideas come to me at such moments. Sometimes I have to stop my car by the side of the road to text the ideas to myself. I wrote all my books on the notepad on my iPhone during my commute on the train. Odd isn’t it, that l need chaos or motion to write.
I certainly would not be one of those authors who stay in a remote cabin in the woods so they can write a book. Gosh! I will not be able to write a thing. What a shame! I would have loved that. I guess the good thing about this is I can write anywhere.
Q: How do you feel about the writing community as a whole?
A:I think the best thing that happened to my writing career was joining a writers group because l found a very good one. It is called WRITERS IN THE WOOD and it is right in my neighbourhood. How lucky is that!They are supportive and l have learnt a lot from them. We support each other to be better writers. I have attended many book events, being photographed with local celebrities and appearing in newspapers just because of my writers group. It is the best decision I took in 2018 and I highly recommend it to any writer.
I must admit that not all writers groups are good, so finding a good one like WRITERS IN THE WOOD is priceless. Another good writers group I belong to is DR GRAHAM CLINGBINE’S BOOK, AUTHOR & READING GROUP.
Q: Have you or will you be willing to collaborate with other authors in the future?
A:Collaboration with other authors is a great idea but it depends on how you do it. My preference would be a collection of short stories. I would like to do that.
Q: Tell us about your book and if it’s upcoming or already published?
A:I have published four books so far. They are:
1. OVERCOMING LIFE’S CHALLENGES (Published January 2017)
This book is a discourse of various challenges we pass through in life, viewed from different perspectives and illustrated with various personal experiences, including mine. The challenges covered include love, relationships, family, marriage, health, grief, work, religion and career. It is filled with human triumphs and mistakes. I have been told the narratives are funny and interesting. It is fluid, entertaining and informative all at once.
2. ENRICHING ALL WOMEN, A guide to creating income streams (Published December 2017)
This is a motivational book and it has been described as a business book as well because it is about creating additional streams of income. I am very passionate about women's causes. Majority of the world's poor are women and the statistics is alleged to be about 70%. I have been unemployed, self-employed, in low-paid jobs and in a good job. I have also been able to achieve my dreams and aspirations while working full-time as a parent.
Therefore, I wrote this book for people in similar situations who desperately want a change but do not know how to go about it. The book also covers the likely obstacles one could face and possible solutions to overcome them. Since publishing ENRICHING ALL WOMEN, l have been approached to work on several charitable projects, running workshops for women empowerment in Malawi and Nigeria. These would commence as soon as the charity has made the necessary arrangements. Causes for empowering women is something I am passionate about, therefore I am looking forward to it.
3. THE ZEANN GANG, Bully Busters (Published September 2018)
This is a fictional children’s novel. My daughter was bullied in school and I helped her through it. Therefore, I wrote this book about bullying to teach children how to avoid it, what to do when it happens and how to help each other. The feedback from my young readers is that they find it funny and they have learned a lot about bullying. The book is the story of five 10-year-old primary school kids, Zoe, Elise, Andrea, Nnena and Nnadi. Despite their fears and limitations, they protected their friend, Elise from bullies. Then together, they decided to tackle bullying in their school, GreenAge Academy. They became the ZEANN gang and took on the school bullies, the 2TOFS.
The book has been bought by schools in the UK and Canada for their library. This happened because parents and kids like it so much they recommended it to their schools. It is an amazing outcome that l hoped for and cannot believe is actually happening.
4. A CARRIAGE FULL OF LAUGHS, Funny Adventures of a London Commuter. (Published December 2018)
This book is about my funny adventures as a commuter on London trains and buses. It exposed me to an incredible world of the unexpected. There is the shocking, the beautiful and even those that tug at your heartstrings. Some have left me speechless. I blogged about my daily commute for two years, to share the experience with my readers in a funny narrative. They loved it and asked for more. They suggested a book version of the blogs. This is it. You will be laughing aloud as you look forward to page after page of very funny and entertaining narratives. It is unique. You will not find another book like it out there. It is special.
Q: Is your book or upcoming book an eBook, paperback, or both?
A:My books are already published. My first two books are in both paperback and eBook formats. My third and fourth book are only in paperback format for now but they will published in eBook format soon.
Q: Are you planning to write more?
A: Oh definitely! I do not think l will ever stop. I always tell my friends that my retirement is taken care of. I will be that old pensioner, publishing book after book. I have two more books to publish in 2019. My head is full of book ideas.
Q: Is there anything you would say to other writers, that want to write and publish a book?
A: Many potential authors give up and never follow up on their dream of being published. It is usually due to self-doubt or a lack of confidence to share their thoughts and ideas with the world for fear of being criticized. Do not let that stop you. Join a writers group and do not be afraid to ask for help because you will get it. Do a writing course if you have to and make use of a good editor. There are also many good editing apps out there, which are more affordable. Its 2019, so the possibilities are endless. Just do what you have to do to get your book out there. Otherwise, you may be depriving the world of a very good author and many wonderful books.
Q: Where can my readers find your books and how they can follow you on social media? Leave only links that you want open to the public.
A: My books are available to order on the following websites:
Facebook is my social media of choice. I am very active on Facebook and I use it regularly to discuss topical issues and book events.
Thank you so much Franca for sharing with us today. I really enjoyed learning about your creative process and how you use your cell phone in it. I can barely send text messages, so I find it very impressive that you can use your cell phone to help you in your writing.
I invite everyone to check out Franca’s books and follow her on social media by using the links above.
As Always, Happy Reading and Writing Everyone,
G. D. Talbot